Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Davina Ware, CEO of Upwardly Paved Path, located in Chicago, IL, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business is Upwardly Paved Path Career Coaching. I help professionals get out of their own way to transition into careers of authority that utilize their gifts and talents. Through the latest career transition principles, personal branding, and personal development, I lead my clients to find fulfillment and influence in their next career move.

My customers are Generation X professionals who have spent most of their careers serving others while tucking away their needs and wants for themselves. They are disconnected from true expertise and have NO idea what an ideal career looks like.

Tell us about yourself

I spent the first ten years of my career in CONSTANT transition. I stumbled through jobs in hopes that the next one would acknowledge my skills and propels me up the career ladder. Instead, I found disappointment, disillusionment, and dead ends. I had written my resume so much that I started doing so for my friends! One of them suggested that I offer a resume writing service. After doing that for a while, I realized that people needed strategy, coaching, and personal branding to find a career aligned with their purpose. That's when I expanded my service. My pastor once said, "Your struggle should be someone else's shortcut." This helped me to see that the 10-year struggle in my career was not in vain.

What motivates me each day is I was finally able to break through the cycle of stagnating jobs and carve out an ideal career that refreshes me instead of draining me. I believe every professional should experience this. It's my mission to get as many people on purpose as possible.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is the moment my client recognizes their worth and power! That light bulb moment changes the trajectory of their entire lives. To witness this moment on a consistent basis is an indicator that I am walking in my purpose while launching professionals into theirs.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I think the hardest aspect of being a business owner is finding balance in your work and personal life. In the beginning, it's really easy to go into overdrive because you want to be successful. This is also a surefire way to burn yourself out. When this happens, you can start to resent your business. It's important to set boundaries around how you spend your time to ensure you're progressing on what your business needs most right now; you get ample rest (not just sleep), you're on top of your personal matters, and you make time; to have fun!

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

First, I would get really clear on how your product or service meets the needs of your customer. You need to get intimate with their pain points in order to stay in their minds as their best choice. Otherwise, you lose the lifeblood of your business. Secondly, I would commit to lifelong learning. The industry changes, your customers change, and systems change. It's important that you stay abreast of all of it in order to stay relevant and sharp. That last tip I'll add is don't go at it alone. You only have so many hours in a day, and it's not in your best interest to do everything by yourself. Not only will this slow down your progress, but it will take you away from what you do best.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Launching a business is a journey - not a sprint! It takes time to figure how what works and what doesn't. It takes patience to build the systems that best support your business. It takes grit to keep going when obstacles show up that you didn't expect.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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